Cultural brain acid

In light of today’s sad news about David Bowie, I wondered whether to write this post today, but he clearly anticipated the outpourings of grief, real and invoked, and released an only slightly cynical death album to assuage people’s sentimentality. Good for him. He will be missed by many.

Today I am going to talk about things which actively rot your brain and reduce your functional capacity.

Reality television – this cheap form of entertainment is brainwashing. It exists to persuade you of a line of argument.  It tells you about acceptable and unacceptable opinions and the correct and incorrect social response. eg. Millionaire Matchmaker, which would have you believe that it is perfectly acceptable to prostitute yourself in order to be with a rich person, provided you can polish your appearance and appear pleasing.  Youth culture which would have you believe that agreeing with everyone else is more important than forming your own opinion.

Advertising – this exists to input transitory wants so that you focus on mundane wants instead of thinking about important things.  eg. Someone who is thinking of buying a cheesecake is not thinking about why the unemployed must suffer in order to kill people in another country.

Comedians – Comedians are used by media to provide a safety valve.  Any doubts you may have about the status quo are voiced and turned into a joke. It is a panacea to prevent you from worrying and taking action over things that matter. I use this myself, in my current project  eg.  Have I got news for you, in the UK, which employs satirists to state possible errant public opinion about current affairs and provide a comedic, rather than action-based response

The hour a day millions of people spend watching soap opera – Soap operas are used rather like sport for men.  The more involved you get for that hour, the less likely you are to use that hour in ways that might affect your fragile society.  eg. People often respond to activists, researchers and services alike by saying things like “I can’t talk to you right now, Coronation Street/Emmerdale/Empire is on”  This made it extremely difficult for me to subvert the course of property development in my local area, since people had been effectively tranquillized into assuming that civic action was a mere annoyance rather than being essential for the area’s preservation.

Relying on only one source of news – I used to be proud of the BBC, a supposedly independent source of news, at one time considered internationally important.  The reality is that no news provider is now providing honest news.  The only way of getting close to the truth, is to monitor several sources and compare the alternative realities.

Allowing yourself to be distracted by the envy, snobbery, and aspirations of other people – Keeping up with the Jones’s is a futile occupation, which prevents you from seeing a bigger picture. eg.  If you are concerned about replacing your shameful car, you are not concerned about your land being fracked or your country being destroyed by industrial and alternative corporate interests.

Being persuaded that being sociable means you have to conform to what other people enjoy – Nothing is more important than actioning matters of national concern, to protect your neighbours and your civil liberties.  Not even the party you got invited to, or the coffee your well-meaning friend invited you to.  Their opinion does not matter.  Yours does.

Not investigating topics before you form a transient opinion – in recent years, arguing online about topics you know nothing about has become a popular pastime.  Imagine if all the time you spent arguing was spent researching your topic.  How knowledgeable you would become.

Candy Crush Saga – in the last few weeks, Twisty has presented me with at least four starter drug games which lead to people playing this game.  There is nothing more frightening than a room full of people glued to their mobile phones, all playing this infernal game. IT IS NOT HARMLESS. You need to wean yourself off this and spend your time thinking how to improve your life and brain activity, not send it into dormancy.

I am sure there will be people reading this post who are laughing at these apparently harmless activities, and wondering if I am a kind of grim nun.  I am not saying that you should not enjoy yourself or relax.  I am saying all of the above are bad for your brain function and mental health and you should consider them a bit like junk food.  There are more important things for you to think about, and more important work to be done.  The news on TTIP, TISA and TTPP has been very quiet for a fortnight now, which means that they are attempting to quell potential activism and sneak it past you.  Wake up, before it is too late, and your opportunities and freedom are dictated by American corporations, with Europeans firmly in their wake.  Your liberty depends on it.


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